Music

The Best Opera Songs  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
35.1k votes 11.5k voters 1.1M views 76 items

What are the best opera songs of all time? With so many possibilities and choices, it's hard to come up with a definitive list, but that's exactly what's going on here. This list includes some of the most popular opera arias from the best operas ever, complete with videos, wherever possible. Vote for the opera songs you love the most, vote down any you don't like and please, do add any choices that might be missing. You can also re-rank this list of the best opera songs any way you like. From classic opera to Italian operatic songs, this list has them all! 

If you're an opera aficionado, most if not all of these great opera songs will be instantly familiar to you. If you're sitting there thinking, "I don't know the first thing about opera," you might be wrong. Many of the most famous opera arias are used in popular culture. Some are used as background music for commercials and certainly for movie trailers.

One big example of an opera song used in pop culture is "The Flower Duet," from the French opera Lakme. This song can be found in several commercials and movies, including ads for British Airways and the films The Hunger, The American President and Meet the Parents, among others. And Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries," from his famous opera Die Walküre, can be heard in several major films, including Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now.

See? Even if you think you don't know opera, you do, sort of. You will after perusing this list and watching some of the videos, too.

No list of the best opera songs would be complete without songs from one of the most famous operas ever, George Bizet's Carmen. Of those songs, "Habanera" is probably the most well-known, but there are many others. If your favorite Carmen aria isn't listed, again, feel free to add it.

A truly outstanding opera song is memorable, emotional and very personal. Not everyone likes the same things – that's part of what makes music so wonderful, after all. Everyone has differing opinions, so enjoy giving yours with your votes here.

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roxbury added Giacomo Puccini
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BitzNera added Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lucia Popp
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La Donna E Mobile is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Opera Songs
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akimiko added Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli
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FabianoMartins added Maria Callas
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